The feral boy sleeps at the foot of your bed. You only get him one weekend per month but he refuses to sleep in his bed.
You don’t get to have sex with your younger girlfriend because your feral boy curls at the end of your bed, waiting, like a stray to be taken somewhere.
You feign sleep, hoping that the feral boy too will close his eyes and drift but you don’t know if he does. You can’t tell.
This boy was an accident. He was an “oops” in the backseat. You had protection but it didn’t help. You didn’t plan on having this kid. You were just fucking around. You can admit that to yourself. Shit, you were young, you still are, but this feral boy nips at your heels like a fucking stray who smells meat in your pocket.
Your girlfriend, who called him feral boy in fun even though it bothered you, touches your naked body underneath the sheet and you look down to your boy who lies on the floor. You cannot see his eyes. You do not know if he is awake or not.
You still her hand and she pouts. She is disappointed. It is dangerous if she gets disappointed because she is younger than you, too much younger than you, and if she gets disappointed or bored, you won’t get that young beautiful body of hers.
But you tire of the pouting.
The feral boy laughs in his sleep, a dream he seems to be enjoying, happiness, and you push her over, rolling away, to try to find the same kind of dream.
by Ron Burch
Ron Burch’s fiction has been published in numerous literary journals including Mississippi Review, The Saint Ann’s Review, Eleven Eleven, Pank, and been nominated for The Pushcart Prize. Bliss Inc., his debut novel, was published by BlazeVOX Books. He lives in Los Angeles. Please visit: www.ronburch.com.